Average Cost of Car Insurance for an 18-Year-Old

Average Cost of Car Insurance for an 18-Year-Old

Find Cheap 18-Year-Old Auto Insurance Quotes

Currently insured?

The average cost of full-coverage auto insurance for 18-year-olds is $7,396 per year, or $616 per month, according to our research. Erie offers the cheapest car insurance for 18-year-olds, with an average annual rate of $3,173.

To help inform your search for auto insurance, we compared quotes for 18-year-olds considering factors such as age, gender, insurer and state. Erie, Geico and USAA were the cheapest companies based on our analysis of thousands of quotes from 29 insurers across the country. In order to find the cheapest rates, we recommend shopping around to get quotes from multiple insurers.

Find insurance rates by:
{"backgroundColor":"ice","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"full pad-none align-left clearfix\"\u003E\n\u003Cdiv class=\"twothird pad align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ETo help inform your search for auto insurance, we compared quotes for 18-year-olds considering factors such as age, gender, insurer and state. Erie, Geico and USAA were the cheapest companies based on our analysis of thousands of quotes from 29 insurers across the country. In order to find the cheapest rates, we recommend shopping around to get quotes from multiple insurers.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"third pad align-left clearfix\"\u003E\n\u003Cstrong\u003EFind insurance rates by:\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"DropdownBox--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ReactComponent--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-DropdownBox\" data-component-name=\"DropdownBox\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"Root-sc-z2gssf wGmOn\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"InputDropdown--root DropdownBox--select\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"InputDropdown--field \"\u003E\u003Cselect aria-label=\"selectedOption\" class=\"InputDropdown--select\" name=\"selectedOption\"\u003E\u003Coption value=\"#\"\u003ESelect an option\u003C\/option\u003E\u003Coption value=\"#company\"\u003ECompany\u003C\/option\u003E\u003Coption value=\"#gender\"\u003EGender\u003C\/option\u003E\u003Coption value=\"#state\"\u003EState\u003C\/option\u003E\u003C\/select\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003Cscript type=\"application\/json\" class=\"js-react-component\" data-component-name=\"DropdownBox\"\u003E{\"title\":\"Select an option\",\"dropdownOptions\":[{\"label\":\"Select an option\",\"value\":\"#\"},{\"label\":\"Company\",\"value\":\"#company\"},{\"label\":\"Gender\",\"value\":\"#gender\"},{\"label\":\"State\",\"value\":\"#state\"}]}\u003C\/script\u003E\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n","padding":"none"}

How much is car insurance for 18-year-old drivers?

Full-coverage car insurance for an 18-year-old driver costs an average $7,396 per year, or $616 a month. We found a $7,551 difference between annual rates from the cheapest insurer, Erie, and the most expensive insurer, Allstate. Price differences like this show why it's so important to compare insurance quotes to make sure you get the best rates.

Car insurance quotes for 18-year-olds across insurers

Find Cheap 18-Year-Old Auto Insurance Quotes

Currently insured?
  • Erie offers the cheapest rates, at $3,173 annually, though it's only available in 13 states.
  • USAA, with an annual premium of $3,963, offers the second-cheapest rates among the insurers we looked at. However, the company only offers car insurance policies to current and former members of the military and their families.
  • Geico, with an annual premium of $4,224, is the cheapest car insurance company for 18-year-olds that is widely available across the country.
Insurer
Average annual rate
Erie$3,173
USAA$3,963
Geico$4,224
State Farm$5,670
Nationwide$5,737
Farmers$6,470
Progressive$7,057
Allstate$10,724
Average$7,396

How do car insurance rates for 18-year-olds compare to other ages?

Drivers under the age of 25 tend to have higher insurance rates because they are considered more at-risk drivers. As you get older and have more years of driving under your belt, your insurance rates should start to drop.

For example, someone who turns 18 years old will, on average, see their annual rate decrease by $1,445.

Age
Average annual rate
16$9,759
17$8,841
18$7,396
19$6,182
20$5,517
21$4,611
22$4,304
23$4,021
24$3,765
25$3,348

Average cost of car insurance for 18-year-old male vs. female drivers

The average cost of car insurance for 18-year-old female drivers is cheaper than that for 18-year-old male drivers. For 18-year-olds, female drivers pay $7,030 per year on average, while male drivers pay $7,762.

Age
Annual rate, male
Annual rate, female
18$7,762$7,030
19$6,468$5,895
20$5,777$5,258

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the motor vehicle death rate for male drivers ages 16 to 19 is more than double the rate for female drivers in that age group, making male teens a significantly higher risk to insurers.

However, some states — California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan (in certain cities), Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — prohibit insurers from using gender to determine car insurance rates. Male and female drivers in these states should pay the same price for auto insurance coverage, all else being equal.

Do car insurance rates go down at age 18?

Our analysis found that most young drivers see their insurance rates go down by 12% when they turn 18. At 18 years old, you pose less of a risk to insurers than newly licensed 16- and 17-year-olds do, and your rates reflect that.

New drivers are the exception to this rule. If you are a new driver at 18 years old and are getting car insurance for the first time, you will likely pay more than a driver who was licensed at age 16 and has two years of driving experience.

Cheapest auto insurance companies for 18-year-olds by state

Geico is the cheapest insurer in three out of nine states, according to our analysis.

We did not include USAA in these recommendations, as its policies only serve current or former military members and their families. If USAA were included, it would offer the cheapest auto insurance for 20-year-olds in Illinois, Michigan, New York and Texas.

Best cheap car insurance for 18-year-olds by state

We found that North Carolina is the cheapest state for an 18-year-old to get car insurance, with an annual premium 54% cheaper than the overall average. Michigan is by far the most expensive state, with annual auto insurance costs for 18-year-olds almost three times more expensive than average.

State
Average annual rate
North Carolina$3,369
California$4,472
Ohio$4,705
Illinois$5,367
Texas$6,514
New York$7,132
Georgia$7,399
Florida$8,367
Michigan$19,119

Can an 18-year-old get their own car insurance?

An 18-year-old can purchase their own car insurance policy. However, we recommend getting added to your parents' policy if possible, as it's cheaper than taking out your own separate policy.

The average cost of adding an 18-year-old to a parent's car insurance policy is $3,020 annually, but the average cost of an 18-year-old getting their own car insurance is $7,178 annually.

Parents will likely see a spike in their rates when they add a teen driver to their policy, but by asking for discounts, they can help offset the increased cost. If the teen drives a separate car, for instance, parents might be able to obtain a multi-car discount. And if parents opt to stay with the same insurer for their teen's car, they may be rewarded with a loyalty discount.

How to get cheap car insurance at 18 years old

Besides staying on your parents' policy, the best strategy to get cheap auto insurance quotes is to shop around. Prices can differ by the thousands, so contact multiple insurers to compare rates.

However, there are a number of other strategies 18-year-olds can use to secure auto insurance deals:

Explore discount opportunities. Insurers offer many discounts for which you may be eligible. If you are an 18-year-old high school or college student, you can get a good student discount on car insurance, provided you keep your GPA above a certain threshold.

College students who leave their car at their parents' home during the academic year and attend a university more than 100 miles away can often get an away-from-home student discount, and perhaps a low-mileage discount.

Alternatively, if you're financially independent from your parents and live separately from them, you can save on your auto insurance policy by bundling it with your renters or homeowners insurance.

Drive an affordable car. Expensive cars cost more to repair, which means they also cost more to insure. Our research found that the cars with the cheapest insurance for 18-year-olds included SUVs like the Subaru Outback and the Buick Encore, and safer sports cars like the Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Increase your deductible. Another way to lower your insurance rate is to elect a higher deductible. However, this means you will pay more out of pocket if you file a claim.

Use a telematics program. By sharing your driving data with your auto insurer via a telematics tracking device, you can prove that you're a safe driver worthy of lower premiums. Usage-based auto insurance lets you earn significant discounts if you're generally a safe driver.

Reconsider how much coverage you need. Because 18-year-old drivers are statistically more likely to get into accidents, it's generally wise to buy a full-coverage policy that includes both collision and comprehensive insurance. However, a minimum-coverage policy might work if you, like many young drivers, have an older car and repairs would cost more than the car is worth.

Get multiple rates. It's always best to shop around and get quotes from multiple insurers to ensure you find the best rates and coverage.

Short-term car insurance for 18-year-olds

Reputable car insurance companies do not sell short-term car insurance. If you're an 18-year-old driver and you see ads for one-day, one-week or one-month car insurance, don't be tempted. Insurance policies generally only come in six-month or one-year terms, although you can typically cancel them at any time, and you can choose to pay monthly.

Methodology

We collected car insurance quotes for thousands of ZIP codes across nine of the most populated states in the U.S. Our sample drivers were single male and female 18-year-olds who drove a 2015 Honda Civic EX and had clean driving records.

We compared rates for full-coverage policies with the following limits:

Coverage
Limits
Bodily injury liability$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000 per accident
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
Comprehensive and collision$500 deductible
Personal injury protection (PIP)Minimum, when required by state

The analysis included 29 insurance companies, and rates were only added to our list of average prices and recommendations if their policies were available in at least three of the nine states.

Our analysis pulled insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. The rates we collected were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should only be used for comparative purposes, as your own quotes may differ from our averages.

Sources

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.